SC Farm Bureau Warns of Edisto River Radicals (ERRs)
01/24/14 - This week, the South Carolina Farm Bureau began a website and Facebook presence that amounts to a smear campaign against citizens who dare express concerns about current plans to withdraw massive water amounts like those proposed for the South Edisto River.
Here's a note the Farm Bureau sent to their members:
You are receiving this email as one of South Carolina's top grassroots leaders. In short, South Carolina's farmers need your help. Radical environmentalists are waging a war on farmers and the farming community.
President, SC Farm Bureau Federation
This is a smear campaign. Concerns about large water withdrawals have come from interested South Carolinians across the board: residents, farmers, hunters, anglers, boaters and conservationists. The rivers in South Carolina are owned by the public at large – they are OURS, and we can not allow them to be abused.
Yesterday, Senator Chip Campsen, along with several other senators introduced S.970, the “Surface Water Stewardship Act” to ensure that an appropriate permitting and public input process will be in place for the future.
We understand that Walther Farms has considered scaling back its proposed withdrawals. With that being said, the smear campaign from the Farm Bureau cements the reality that corporate mega-farms are interested in future large-scale withdrawals.
As Senator Chip Campsen said in discussing the bill, “I see an email out here (from the Farm Bureau) that says (changing the current surface water withdrawal law) is a ‘radical environmental agenda’. Well Members, fellow Senators, I’ll tell you what’s radical: a policy that lets just one category of the public take all the safe yield out of the river with no permitting decision requirement, no public input – THAT is a radical policy. That is a radical burden against the Public Trust Doctrine (in the Constitution), a doctrine that you (Senators) have an obligation to uphold for all South Carolinians.”
Now is the time to act! Call and urge Senators on the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee to support S.970.
Thank you for your dedication to protecting South Carolina's wildlife and wild places.